Libertarians: Stop Cozying Up To The Political Right
This is written in haphazard haste, so deal with it. But I wanted to underscore a couple of points from a great blogpost (hat tip: Cathy) that I don’t necessarily agree with in it’s entirety (but what else is new). However, here is the main takeaway, which is spot on:
I myself believe that Rand Paul is one of the best politicians when it comes to issues such as fiscal responsibility and ending government violations of privacy and due process. There is some talk of him being the Republican Party candidate for president in 2016. However, I have to say that I am not even open to voting for Rand Paul …
I should state my belief that if a racist homophobe becomes the standard bearer of libertarianism, it will damage the movement greatly by turning off young people, women, gays, and racial minorities. There is already an unfortunate perception among some people, aided by the Libertarian Party’s nomination of Bob Barr back in 2008, that “libertarian” is simply another word for right-wingers who think the Republican Party is not fiscally conservative or anti-gun control enough. I, for one, will never “stand with Rand.”
Cannot emphasize this enough. I for one, am sick of “libertarians” that think libertarianism is somehow synonymous with cozying up to the political right, or that we should be more accepting of Republicans, you know, just because — as if that will solve a damn thing. Sure, we should be making every effort to educate just about everybody we can — be they left, right, center, up , down, or just plain fucking stupid ass backwards — by living our lives consistent with our philosophical principles and leading by example, rather than spending so much time being preoccupied by playing keyboard commando on the internet to further our own narcisissm (and no, the irony doesn’t escape me) and pseudo-intellectual, thin skinned, self-congratulatory, half-assed excuses for “fighting the state” by hitting the publish button on a blog post. Snap that into focus.
However, while we’re sitting around wondering why the philosophy of liberty isn’t “winning” in this country or abroad, whatever that even means, try considering this: when you market libertarianism as a political offshoot of a failed, backwards ideology (yes, I’m talking to you, conservatism) you alienate every other person that might be inclined to buy into much of what liberty actually envelops. This isn’t to say libertarians should be in bed with the political left either, but how do you expect to pull support from across the spectrum with all of this tunnel vision, dogmatic, anti-liberal vitriol?
Step back and have some perspective. The school of thought is called classical liberalism for a reason. So stop getting all squeamish by that L word. And thanks to great organizations like The Institute For Humane Studies (especially their LearnLiberty videos) and the academics that are revolutionizing conversations inside the academy and beyond, content of real worth has never been more readily and cheaply available. But beyond all the schism-splitting and arguments over philosophical labels and whatnot (which I’m just as guilty as anybody, being a bleeding heart market anarchist libertarian), liberty is first and foremost a *cultural* phenomenon that has little to do with politics and power concentrates.
The problem isn’t that the “wrong” guy is in office, and if only we had the “right” candidate (pun intended) then things would be hunky fuckin’ dory. No, it’s that the office exists in the first place. The system cannot be reformed. Get used to it.